CLARK FREEPORT – Mark Caguioa couldn’t imagine what life would be without basketball.
Yet at the same time, the veteran star knows he has to face reality eventually.
The 40-year-old Caguioa began his 18th season with Barangay Ginebra in the PBA Philippine Cup bubble and made history right away on Sunday night in a 105-91 win over Meralco at the Smart 5G-powered Angeles University Foundation gym.
Caguioa’s first official game for the new season made him the player with the longest tenure in a single PBA franchise, surpassing the 17 seasons spent by former four-time MVP Alvin Patrimonio at Purefoods and Harvey Carey with TnT Tropang Giga.
The 2012 MVP admitted he’s not aware of the feat leading to the game, saying he’s just having fun and enjoying the moment of this historic season.
He wouldn’t even tell what his plans for the future are, although he knows retirement will ultimately come.
“I don’t know if I’m going to retire next year or go for the 20th year. I don’t know talaga,” he said. “Kasi you never know [until] when I’m going to be here.
“Just thinking about retiring makes me sad, emotional. I do get sad and I don’t want to think about that now, but I know sooner or later that day will come.”
Caguioa played for six minutes and 35 seconds and had two points and two rebounds in the Kings’ third straight win in the bubble.
It’s a different environment Caguioa is playing at the moment, with no fans allowed in the stands as the threat of the COVID-19 pandemic remains very much around.
But even in their absence, it’s the thought of them that keeps Caguiao going.
“I just want to thank the fans. For me it’s the fans, parang mahihirapan talaga akong mag-retire,” he shared. “It’s because of them that keeps me going. Maski wala sila ngayon, lagi ko silang naiisip.
“Parang I just don’t want to say farewell. I really do.”